49ers have built success through the draft
April, 25, 2013
By Doug Clawson, ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsThe 49ers have had success with a home grown team built primrily through the draft.
Home Grown Team
The 49ers are looking to build on recent draft success and a mostly home grown team. Five of their 10 first-round selections since 2006 have made at least one Pro Bowl, tied for most in the league with the Washington Redskins. By comparison, 30 percent of the first-round selections by other teams since 2006 have made at least one pro bowl (An average of two per team).
Fifteen of the 49ers’ 22 offensive and defensive starters on last season’s Super Bowl roster were drafted by San Francisco, and seven of them were drafted in the third round or later. They have 10 picks in the third round or later this season.
Tough in the Trenches
The 49ers have built their team in the draft starting with the front lines. They started the same offensive line group in all 16 games in 2012 and were the only group to feature three first-round draft picks as their most frequent line combination (Joe Staley, Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati).
Don’t be surprised if the 49ers beef up their defensive line in this year’s draft. With Justin Smith suffering an injury late last season a lack of depth along the defensive line was exposed. The 49ers recorded a sack once every 16.2 dropbacks and allowed a 57.8 Total QBR with Smith on the field last season. With Smith off the field, the 49ers recorded a sack once every 29.4 dropbacks and allowed a 75.2 QBR.
Will they move up in the draft order to secure one of this year’s top defensive lineman? San Francisco especially needs depth at the position after they lost starting lineman Isaac Sopoaga and backup Ricky Jean Francois in free agency (although they did sign Glenn Dorsey).
Trading up has worked for them in the past. The 49ers moved up in the 2011 Draft to the No. 36 pick and selected quarterback Colin Kaepernick.